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Adam Gase was a Jets mistake from the start


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Each exit has its own story.

Some Jets head coaches have gone out quietly, some in anger, some in shame, some in surprise.

Adam Gase’s exit as the 18th head coach in Jets history, announced by the team about five hours after Sunday’s 28-14 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, comes as no surprise.

Nine wins in 32 games warrant a pink slip.

So, too, do two consecutive seasons overseeing an offense that ranked dead last in the league when you were hired because of your alleged offensive prowess.

And, so does the glaring failure to develop Sam Darnold, the franchise quarterback you were hired to help excel as a supposed “quarterback whisperer.’’

That Gase was hired in the first place was more surprising than his dismissal.

I never understood the hurry on the part of Jets CEO Christopher Johnson to hire Gase 10 minutes after he was fired in Miami for being too mediocre in his three seasons there.

I had — and have — no axe to grind with Gase. Never have. I was, in fact, disgusted by the sophomoric treatment of him on social media during his introductory press conference, with people poking fun at his nervously darting eyes.

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson and Adam Gase.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

I’ve admired how hard Gase’s teams — both last season and this one — have continued to play for him despite the constant losing that usually sends players into a self-preservation mode of finger-pointing.

I respected the way, as this season unraveled, Gase took responsibility for letting Darnold down and for his inability to elevate the offense when that was supposed to be his strength to do so.

En route to 7-9 in 2019 after a 1-7 start and 2-14 this season after an 0-13 start, Gase conducted himself respectfully through some trying times.

Unfortunately, Gase simply never showed signs that he should have been hired in the first place.

“It wasn’t good enough, obviously,’’ Gase said after the game Sunday. He was speaking about this season, but that sentiment applies to his entire tenure.

Gase on Sunday exited as quietly as Todd Bowles did two years ago, also after a season-ending loss in New England, that one a 38-3 blowout.

Before Bowles, Rex Ryan wore out his welcome after six seasons of bluster and early success that turned bad.

Before Ryan was hired, Eric Mangini was a surprise (and unfair) firing, the victim of a twitchy trigger finger on the part of owner Woody Johnson, who was influenced by Jets fans irate that the team squandered an 8-3 start to finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs with Brett Favre at quarterback.

Herman Edwards was gone in 2005 after five mostly successful seasons when he didn’t feel respected enough by Woody Johnson and worked his way back to Kansas City, where he’d previously coached.

Al Groh, after a 9-7 record in 2000, couldn’t wait to bail to go coach at Virginia, his alma mater. His finale was a disappointing 34-20 loss in Baltimore in a game that, had the Jets had won, they’d have gone to the playoffs.

Bill Parcells stepped away on his own after three seasons, his last game a meaningless 19-9 win over Seattle in 1999.

Rich Kotite’s two calamitous seasons (a 4-28 record) ended with a 31-28 home loss to the Dolphins in 1996 with fans throwing beer at him as he exited the tunnel for the final time.

Before Kotite, Pete Carroll got one year (6-10) before then-owner Leon Hess decided he had to have Kotite, a move the famously elicited the New York Post headline: “Dumb and Dumber.’’

Bruce Coslet’s final game of his three seasons was a 24-0 loss in Houston in a game that, had the Jets won, they’d have gotten into the playoffs. The Post headline after that game was: “Cut Bruce Loose.’’

Before Coslet, there was Joe Walton, who in the end was serenaded by the home fans with “Joe Must Go’’ chants and showered with beer after his final game, a 37-0 home loss to the Bills.

The common denominator for all exiting Jets coaches — other than Weeb Ewbank, who delivered the franchise’s only Super Bowl title — has been this: All failed to accomplish the mission for which they were hired.

Gase simply was the latest.

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